In 1971, wild horses and burros were found roaming across 53.8 million acres of Herd Areas (HAs), of which 42.4 million acres were under the BLM's jurisdiction. Today the BLM manages wild horses and burros in subsets of these HAs, known as Herd Management Areas (HMAs) that comprise 31.6 million acres, of which 26.9 million acres are under BLM management.
The Hardtrigger HMA includes 66,063 total acres of public and other land within the BLM Owyhee field office. It is within the Hardtrigger HA. The HMA is located within Owyhee County, south of the Snake River between Murphy and US Highway 95 to the west. HMA characteristics include rolling hills and sagebrush steppe. The horses share the HMA with other wildlife, including deer, antelope and upland game birds.
The horses are known to be of excellent size with good conformation and color. This is the result of the influence of released Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse studs to the herds periodically up to 1978. It is also suspected that horses bred for Cavalry Re-Mounts may have also influenced these herds. In addition to the typical colors of bay, brown, and black, the wild horses include many chestnuts, pintos, paints, roans, grays, duns, grullas, and a few Appaloosas.
Appropriate Mangement Levels (AMLs) for wild horses within the Hardtrigger HMA are 66-130
The last gather of the Hardtrigger HMA was completed in September of 2014, 37 horses were gathered.